“He Waka Eke Noa (HWEN) continues to miss the point. ACT says that any policy that gives away market share to less efficient competitors belongs on the scrapheap,” says ACT’s Primary Industries spokesperson Mark Cameron.

“The Prime Minister proudly announcing they’ll use the lowest possible levy price as if that is a positive development is farcical. What was the alternative? Deliberately wasting farmers’ money?

“Recognising on-farm sequestration should have always been a focal point for any agricultural climate policy, but if that policy still means New Zealand production leaks to less efficient countries then it is not fit for purpose.  

“Farmers are the victims of the Government’s obsession with overseas plaudits, the Prime Minister wants to go on the world stage and say that New Zealand is the first country to price agricultural emissions.

“Well guess what? Producing food in NZ is already the most effective way to reduce emissions. This policy will shift production to higher cost producers overseas.

“ACT says the fairest and most simple answer is to match our agricultural emission reduction goals with our five closest trading partners. This means there is no risk of reducing production so other countries can pick up the slack.

“ACT’s policy will mean New Zealand’s agriculture industry remains in step with the rest of the world without taking all the risks. Labour’s approach is only “global leadership” in the sense that it is showing the rest of the world what not to do.

“This illogical policy-making all kicked off when every party but ACT voted for the Zero Carbon Bill. It set a target that farm emissions must reduce 24-47 per cent below 2017 levels, and how that goal is reached is irrelevant and global emissions are not considered. The solution that Labour has chosen to meet the target is to hammer our farmers and increase global emissions.

“ACT believes New Zealand must play its part on climate change. But any response must be simple to administer, politically durable, and effective. New Zealand will only prosper if we match our goals with actions which actually benefit the environment.

“It is also untenable to continue with the current unscientific treatment of methane. ACT will amend the Climate Change Response Act in our first 100 days to ensure emissions reporting accurately reflects the actual warming effect of methane emissions.

“New Zealand is an export nation that has been kept afloat by the primary sector and relies on it during turbulent economic times.

“Kiwi farmers are the most emissions-efficient in the world and they’re not praised enough for this, but there’s more work to be done. ACT has a plan that is practical, effective, and politically durable.”

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Mark Cameron